This is what "a load of firewood" looks like if you are an ex-timber faller like Tom.
Thanks to friend John Ottman for the fine delivery this week. That last load kept us warm for 4 years, and so grateful for all the help by Pat Johnson, Ryan Hollingsworth and John "Hoeman." Sawing and splitting and stacking next....whew.
Friday, December 1, 2023
This is what "a load of firewood" looks like if you are an ex-timber faller like Tom.
Monday, November 27, 2023
Friday, November 24, 2023
Dry-point etching with gouache paint and graphite, Mischa the Peregrine 10 1/2" x 9" and a fun one to work on. Officially too cold to run these prints in the studio over the garage so thinking of bringing the printing press and all the stuff inside for the winter.
Monday, November 20, 2023
We bought this place in 2001, a 1977 single story remodeled (mostly) by Greg Schultz before he passed it on to us. The bathroom however was awful and finally our friend John Nickelsen is doing a special remodel, here the junk in the yard. And what was up with the plumbing? Check this out 11 elbows leading into the main water system all these years! Fixed and now...water pressure!
Friday, November 17, 2023
Long-time friend (like 28 years!) Ted Eiseman offered to help with some Raptor Ranch construction and I immediately thought of the eagle enclosure. The roof was caving in and Ted installed the new 1/2" plywood, plus roofing and aluminum drip edges. The eagles didn't mind him in there, even with the air gun and staples! Thanks Ted, perfect, and he took home some artwork.
Monday, November 6, 2023
Friday, November 3, 2023
Our pal Dr. Erick Greene reports that he saw an Osprey on Monday, Oct 30th. That is the latest sighting I can recall, migrating south a month ago. Bet it was a youngster from up north coming through, adults leave sooner. Remarkably, they stay on the non-breeding ground the first spring and don't migrate back. I can only think of one other raptor that does that, a hawk-eagle or something I recall. My Osprey record is October 21st in the back yard:
Tuesday, October 31, 2023
Sunday, October 29, 2023
Saturday, October 28, 2023
Saturday's program at Lewis & Clark Headquarters, Travelers' Rest State Park in Lolo was way too much fun and a milestone. I had an art display and Powerpoint, then four birds on their best behavior. Nigel the 28-year-old Golden Eagle here with me and finally feeling great after a 4-month-plus illness. I was informed that this was their largest audience ever, topped only by the annual fundraising event. 150 young and old alike, lots of familiar faces and let's do that again.
Tuesday, October 24, 2023
I started by taking the shade cloth down in the eagle building, filled all the water baths with the hoses then wound them up, extension cord to the Aplomado Falcon building for the heated perch and red lamp. Today's project will be installing clear shower curtains on the buildings, most birds are just fine outdoors all winter if they are out of the wind. Other birds are spoiled rotten.
Monday, October 23, 2023
Sunday, October 22, 2023
Yesterday's program at Lewis & Clark headquarters, Travelers' Rest State Park was way too much fun! Art Show and Powerpoint, then four birds on their best behavior. Here is our contact Jason "Tano" Mejia with Nigel the Golden Eagle, the bird apparently the older of the two, Tano admitted. A dozen art pieces grace the walls and a packed visitors center. "The most people to ever attend a program" only topped by their Annual Fundraising event. 150 young and old alike, lots of familiar faces and pals. Wow, let's do that again.
Wednesday, October 18, 2023
Tuesday, October 17, 2023
Always love the Aspens! Nigel the Golden Eagle will be joining us at Travelers' Rest this Saturday, and debut program for Little Billie the Saw-whet Owl, plus Portia the Barred Owl, and Sibley the Peregrine. FUN! And a little bit of medical news - after a surgery last week we have found that I do not have cancer! Whew. Time to get back to normal after 5 months plus of illness after that knee surgery. Anesthesia is the culprit, they tell me.
Monday, October 16, 2023
Saturday, October 14, 2023
Here is a psychic phenomenon - we just had a fun visit by two volunteers from Montana Wild Wings, Jennifer Campbell and Leslie Mathern. They told me it was a fine tribute to name our new Northern Saw-whet owl after the woman that recovered him from the roadside in January, Billie. What? I just made that up and news to me. I installed him in the enclosure and said out loud, "Little Billie, supper's ready" in a British accent. Wow, where did that come from...? Klairvoyant Kate I have been called and wish we could harness this power and use it for good.
Friday, October 13, 2023
A photo from an hour ago, and last night's Happy Freezer full of food! I can't tell you how tenuous the food supply can be sometimes. Keeps me awake at night. But set for a while with game meat, chickens, Coturnix Quail, and the all-important mice. Just bought 300 mice = $280. Yep. That's what we love our Raptor Backers as we are a non-profit publicly-supported organization.
Wednesday, October 11, 2023
This Red-tail was relaxing in the Bitterroot sun, and that's St. Mary's lookout behind her on the top by the wire. Then a photo of me and Tom up there 20 years ago. On that hike I recall limping a great deal of the way down...oh well. Maybe some day I will be able to do it again, still working on the "new" knee in P.T.
Monday, October 9, 2023
Thursday, October 5, 2023
WOW, want to see some birds, about sixty or so? Check out Gallery 709 at that address on Ronan Street in Missoula. It will blow your mind. The show that owner/artist Don Mundt has assembled is called Birdwatchers and he grouped the paintings, prints and sculptures together as "birds of a feather." Wonderful and opening reception with many of the artists tomorrow, Friday from 5 - 9 pm. I have 7 prints, including the debut of the new "Red-tail" drypoint. Also Tom Melhuse, Sally Hickman, Dan DeGrandpre, Connie Murray, Tom Zaditz, Marion Lavery, and (my hero) Stephanie Frostad. Don even has bird sounds piping through the speakers! Ornithological Outing for All. Hasta manyana.
Saturday, September 30, 2023
We have been getting Netflix in the mail, DVD's waiting in the post office box for my anxious retrieval now since 2006. The first one, "Broken Flowers." We have enjoyed a total of 1567 movies and yesterday the last one, end of an era. Netflix quit sending them and said to keep these last ones as gifts, not to mail back. I am so 20th Century and just discovered Roku this week. I shall miss the disc in the box, as about three other people in the Florence Post Office have received them the last few years, archaic relics. HA! Think I'll watch that "Broken Flowers" Bill Murray movie again on the newly installed Roku.
Thursday, September 28, 2023
Tuesday, September 26, 2023
Friday, September 22, 2023
Thursday, September 14, 2023
I was just getting ready to paint some etchings here in the office and heard a "knock knock knock" on the side of the house. I thought it was Tom alerting me of some action in the yard, but found this male Pileated Woodpecker making the rounds, pounding on the house and peeking in the window. So funny when he tried to land on the metal Gyrfalcon sculpture out back and slipped down to the ground. Here he is, spying in the window and Nico the dog at my feet ready to pounce.
Monday, September 11, 2023
Sunday, September 10, 2023
Our beloved Peregrine Mischa is almost finished with the molt, from a "brownie" to adult plumage. Sub-species anatum or Continental Peregrine, she is Sibley's cousin and now look-alike. One-year-old in May, she will be flying very soon. Training involves a motive=food and she has been chowing down on quail all summer as those feathers grow. Next she will be on a diet=organic chicken meat. If she is anything like Sib, food means little and it's a bonding (imprinting) that keeps her hanging around. Not very falconry-y I know and we shall see. Looking forward to the season, and lasts until the end of March.
Saturday, September 9, 2023
Adult Cooper's Hawk on the chicken coop. Okay, pigeon coop, and been hanging out the last few days. She's standing just above the one-way door that the pigeons use to re-enter the loft after flying around the neighborhood for a while, several times a day. The aluminum bar allows them in but not out. Their larger cousin the Northern Goshawk caught one years ago. I have seen the racing pigeons put on the brakes and have predators fly right by, fooled by their "food."
Wednesday, September 6, 2023
These two hen turkeys have been hanging out with their offspring, and the dogs pay no attention. An introduced species, the first transplants to Montana were in the mid 1950's from Colorado and Wyoming. An exotic gamebird, and two hunting seasons - spring gobblers and either sex in the fall. I am glad that Sibley the Peregrine has never paid any attention to them on our ex-exercise ground (we were kicked off by the new owner who wants to make a cattle ranch like Kevin Costner. Don't get me started...)
Monday, September 4, 2023
We love Sonora and she is currently perched right here on the bookshelf while I replace the pine needles in her building. This is a photo of her at the Missoula Art Museum in June, Birds and Art Camp with young artist Isla. Sonora is thinking "I can't wait to get home..." and at the bottom it says, "and she got lost in Idaho." Which she did, flying her in falconry as a youngster fresh from the Peregrine Fund - 2013, trying to catch Eurasian Collared Doves. She flew from our neighborhood to the Idaho border, two nights out, chasing every bird that flew by. So no more flights (outside) for her.
Sunday, September 3, 2023
A sign of my improving health is this new etching of Simone the Red-tailed Hawk, just completed and will submit to the Missoula Art Museum Auction. This is 4 months to the day since I had total knee replacement surgery and sick ever since. I have had major blood tests, treatment for anemia, CT scans, echocardiogram, and one more ultrasound test for cancer. My sixth sense says that ain't it...My surgeon assured me that this was an allergy to anesthesia. He told me that had I been in surgery for three hours instead of just 40 minutes, I would be sick for a year. Unbelievable. So still fatigued and naps, but not every day. Next, paint some more Red-tail prints in the little edition. FUN! Dry-point etching, gouache paint. 10 1/2" x 7 1/4 "